The snows are back.
No, not a snowstorm, but a large flock of Snow Geese have made their way to Lehigh County from their summer breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra.
As many sportsmen and sportsgals are deer hunting right now, there are a number of avid anglers who don’t hunt (or have already filled their deer tags) who prefer to fish as local streams and lakes are virtually void of fishermen.
For sportsmen clamoring for more weekend hunting time afield, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Senate Bill 147, which permits additional hunting on three Sundays per calendar year - one within the archery deer season, one within the firearms deer season and one selected by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The law will take effect Feb. 25, 2020, and the first new Sunday hunting opportunities will be identified by the Game Commission thereafter.
It’s here. It’s deer - the firearms deer hunting season that is.
The much awaited rifle deer season gets underway statewide Saturday, Nov. 30, when the majority of sportsmen go afield in hopes of bagging a buck. And this year, the season opens on a Saturday after Thanksgiving instead of the Monday after the holiday as it has traditionally been.
Saturday, Nov. 23 kicks off the rifle bear season for its three-day run that ends Nov. 27. After that, there’s the extended season from Nov. 30-Dec. 14 in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D. The extended opener also opens again in WMUs 1B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4E and 5A, but that period ends Dec. 7.
Pennsylvania is known nationwide for having large bears. Bruin’s in the 500-600-pound range are taken every year and in fact two were shot last year that topped 700 pounds, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
With the cold temperatures and occasional snow flurries we’re experiencing, it may be the incentive to think about the upcoming skiing/snowboarding/tubing season.
In a prepared press release, Tricia Matsko, Director of Sales and Marketing at Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton, said they put their snow guns in service last Friday night thanks to below freezing temperatures and low humidity. It’s their first attempt this year to make snow and to build a base on the major trails of Lower Main Street, Vista, Come Around, Valley School and Snow Tubing Lanes.
With cold temperatures settling in, most of the best fishing action appears to be at the New Jersey shore where big stripers up to 51 pounds are being caught.
Fishing reporters from On the Water Magazine say linesiders are the ticket. Their report is as follows:
Bob Matthews, from the Fishermen’s Den in Belmar, said boat anglers are finding big fish from a half mile to three miles out. Trolling bunker spoons and Mojos seem to be catching the majority of fish, with spoons taking the edge over Mojos. Party boats are jigging them with Ava 47s and rubber shads.
Since the grouse, rabbit and squirrel season opened last Saturday, the third part of small game opens this Saturday (Oct. 26) for pheasants, often referred to as long-tails. A reference to the long tail feathers of a male cockbird.
If a cockbird can be flushed, the cackle and burst of feathers is exciting and when not anticipated, a bit startling for the hunter. But it’s a nice rush to experience.
The second part of the small game season gets underway this Saturday (Oct. 19) when squirrel, rabbit and grouse become legal game.
Of the trio, squirrels are the most plentiful and their sweet meat makes for excellent table fare be it in a stew, creamed or as a primary meat with mashed or sweet potatoes and a green vegetable or two.
As for rabbits, there are more of them in the city of Allentown and suburbs, than there are in area farmland fields and woodlots. And the reason for that are coyotes, foxes and great horned owls who keep their numbers there severely in check.
Deer and bear hunters are in for some changes this season, with most offering additional hunting days afield.
Now that the statewide archery deer hunting season gets underway this Saturday (Oct. 5), it also spells the time junior license holders can hunt squirrels and rabbits until Oct. 19. Juniors can also hunt ring-necked pheasants from Oct. 12-19.